Abhishek Sharma, the hidden gem
Abhishek Sharma is an Indian under-19 product who has begun to come into his own in the IPL.
SRH show faith in Abhishek
It came as a surprise to some when Sunrisers Hyderabad decided to retain a relatively unknown Abhishek Sharma ahead of the IPL 2022 auctions.
Abhishek has a reputation of hitting big sixes and can also bowl a couple of handy overs of spin. He was first picked by Delhi in the IPL but wasn’t able to do anything extraordinary
Hyderabad have to be credited to be patient with the valuable but rough diamond as they have continued to put in the work behind the scenes.
Covering up for Williamson’s poor form
It finally came good in IPL 2022. Opening the batting for Hyderabad, Abhishek struck 426 runs from 14 matches at an average of 30.42 and a strike rate of 133.12. The stylish opener smashed 47 boundaries and 13 sixes and scored two half centuries with the best of 75.
It was a blessing for Hyderabad that Abhishek Sharma continued to put in consistent performances throughout the season. With Kane Williamson struggling to get the ball off the square, it would have been a disaster for Hyderabad had their opener also got stuck in the middle.
Sharma not only played freely but also showed his immense ability, taking on the likes of Rashid Khan whom even some of the fiercest hitters like Jos Butler and Sanju Samson do not dare to take on.
Abhishek made great use of the powerplay. Essentially, he is a timer of the ball and it may be difficult for him to clear boundaries when the field restrictions are not on, particularly against quicker bowlers as he is all about placement and panache.
Perfect for opener’s role
While Abhishek has the ability to hit big sixes and he has shown it in the IPL and domestic cricket over the years but he did not have a high success rate doing so.
In the powerplay, the field is in and all he has to do is to lift the ball over the fielders. His timing comes in handy and his hand-eye coordination keeps him in good stead.
One is not entirely sure if Sunrisers Hyderabad will show more faith in captain Kane Williamson who hasn’t been able to score freely over the last couple of years or pull the pin on him. Whatever the case, they can have the confidence of having a talented opener who will continue to put in the performances for them over several years to come.